Author Topic: luncheon vouchers - all our yesterdays  (Read 7055 times)

Offline thaiga

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Re: Re: luncheon vouchers - all our yesterdays
« Reply #540 on: March 27, 2016, 01:49:23 PM »

How to Send an E-mail
How to Send an E-mail: A 1984 British Television Broadcast Explains This “Simple” Process

We love to complain about the amount of email we receive, and maybe the problem is that it’s just too easy to send an email now—a few taps on a smartphone is all it takes. But back in 1984, it required some serious dedication.

Watch the clip for a step-by-step explainer, and keep an eye out for when Julian logs on—this could be a historical instance of someone using “1234” as their password.

This local TV relic from the UK shows just how much more complicated it was to send an email thirty-two years ago, using the Prestel system.

The segment originally aired on Thames TV program Database, which was aimed at early computer geeks and tech enthusiasts, and seems unironically awesome. According to IMDB, the show actually broadcast software that could be recorded onto a personal machine over the final credits. (This is included at the end of the YouTube video, but is a terrible screeching you may want to avoid.)

How to send an 'E mail' - Database - 1984

Microcomputer user Julian Green shows how a Prestel (short for “press telephone”) user had to dial up the main Prestel system in order to connect, which he does with a rotary telephone. The early IP he uses is Micronet 800, which charmingly offers a “letters page” where users can write publicly to the provider and its other users.

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Offline thaiga

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Re: Re: luncheon vouchers - all our yesterdays
« Reply #541 on: April 23, 2016, 03:22:58 PM »

Happy 70th birthday to iconic Vespa

Design classic and symbol of the "dolce vita", the Vespa turns 70 this weekend and Italy's most celebrated scooter is buzzing along nicely after tripling sales in the past decade.

It was on a Vespa that Gregory Peck pursued Audrey Hepburn in "Roman Holiday", the 1953 film that helped make the marque synonomous internationally with the Roman capital. But it was actually in Florence that the wasp-shaped two-wheeler was born, Enrico Piaggio having registered the patent in the Tuscan capital on April 23, 1946.

Seventy years later, more than 18 million models have been sold and Piaggio's objective of reinventing the family aeronautical company has been realised and then some.

With the company still dealing with the damage done to its production facilities by World War II bombing, Piaggio asked one of his engineers, Corradino d'Ascanio, to create a motorcycle that would be both easy to produce from the materials at hand and inexpensive for consumers.

The simple brief proved inspired, as did the choice of d'Ascanio, who never made any secret of the fact that he found the motorbikes of the time uncomfortable, cumbersome and dirty.

The engineer addressed each issue one by one and the result was a scooter with a revolutionary design that remains barely untouched to this day.

It was an instant success. From sales of 2,284 in 1946, annual production increased to nearly 20,000 within two years, and to 60,000 in 1950.

By the mid-50s sales had tripled again and Vespas were being manufactured in 13 countries.

- Retro style -

"The Vespa was better than a motorbike: it had a body with a front apron that protected riders from dust, the mud and the rain," said Patrice Verges, a historian of the automobile industry.

"It had small wheels which made it possible to carry a spare with you at a time when punctures were a regular hazard because of nails dropping off horseshoes.

"And people liked the design and the distinctive noise, which was like that of a wasp."

People also liked the price. "In the 1950s and 1960s, you bought a Vespa because you could not afford a car," added Verges.

As the Italian economy began to boom in the 1980s, life got tougher for the manufacturer.

Obligatory helmets made the riding experience safer but less romantic and families were able to opt for cars as their main means of getting about.

Since 2004 however the brand has been undergoing a worldwide revival thanks to a combination of enthusiasm for the Vespa's retro style and its utility for moving quickly around increasingly congested cities.

From 58,000 units in 2004, production, now concentrated in Italy, Vietnam and India, reached nearly 170,000 last year and the allure of the Vespa brand means Piaggio can command higher prices than rivals.

"The Vespa is still a legend," is how Marco Lambri, the current design director, puts it. "It represents the best of Italian design and the (engineering) genius that allowed aeronautical technology to be applied to the creation of a scooter that has revolutionised our way of getting around."
Marketing manager Davide Zanoli adds: "It is not just a vehicle, it is an icon of Italian style, elegant and irreverent at the same time."

To celebrate the 70th birthday, hundreds of Vespa aficionados will gather this weekend at Pontedera near Pisa, where the scooter has been produced continuously since 1946.
Among them will be Carlo Bozzetti, president of the Vespa Club of Milan and proud owner of six different models from different eras.

"I use one every day, for work, holidays and leisure," said the 59-year-old. "The Vespa has been part of my life for 40 years."
  Thanks to Bangkokpost

Roman Holiday (9/10) Movie CLIP - Vespa Ride (1953) HD
credit@ Movieclips

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Offline thaiga

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Re: Re: luncheon vouchers - all our yesterdays
« Reply #542 on: May 15, 2016, 03:32:54 PM »


World War ll Jeeps Still Going Strong In Thai Village After 70 Years!

One of the problems with iconic products is that when they were first designed their manufacturers had no idea of the future status of their product, and detailed records were not always filed.

This makes it difficult for historians, who are often asked to provide definitive information many years later. A classic example of this is the American Jeep, the legendary Second World War vehicle which turns up in every film or TV program about the 1939 – 1945 conflict.

When it became obvious that America was likely to enter the war, the government realised that an essential ingredient of any military operation in Europe would be a suitable vehicle – one that would be rugged and versatile enough to cope with all types of terrain. It had to have four-wheel drive and have enough torque to climb steep gradients and deal with muddy, uneven ground.

A working prototype was built by The Bantam Car Company, and although it met almost all the specifications the US Army was uncertain about Bantam’s ability to build enough vehicles. The designs were sent to Ford, and to a company called Willys-Overland, and Willys came up with a modified version that became the standard design.

The company could not produce enough vehicles, however, so Ford was granted a licence to start production on a large scale. Working flat out, the two companies could produce a new vehicle every 90 seconds.

The origin of the name ‘Jeep’ is lost in time, and there are several stories. One of them relates how the first production model was demonstrated by a Willys Overland test driver, who drove the vehicle up the steps of the US Capitol building. When a reporter asked what the vehicle was called, he replied ‘It’s a Jeep’.

Between them, Ford and Willys-Overland built a total of 640,000 Jeeps during the war. They were supplied to every US Army unit and were used for a variety of purposes. The Jeep became a legend – one US General describing it as America’s greatest contribution to the War.

The legend lives on in the Thailand village of Ban Tachi. The village is surrounded by mountains, and at the end of the war, it was very difficult to reach. An old army Jeep turned up, and was an immediate success- the villagers saw it as the answer to their transport problems.

Over the years, more and more Jeeps appeared, and today there are over 200 of them in daily use – most of them are original World War ll versions, others from later dates  Lovingly preserved, these small four-wheel drive vehicles are still going strong over 70 years after they were built. Thanks to

WW2 Jeep

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Offline Baby Farts

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Re: Re: luncheon vouchers - all our yesterdays
« Reply #543 on: May 15, 2016, 05:05:08 PM »
Not quite sure what these are but I shot this photo in a field next to Wat Mai Ban Don, which is right across the street from the ToT building where immigration used to be.  B/W and color version.  The resizing for the forum really degrades the picture.

Shot with a Nikon D810, Nikon 14-24 Lense @ 14mm, 80 ISO, F/10, 1/160 Shutter speed.

Offline thaiga

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Re: Re: luncheon vouchers - all our yesterdays
« Reply #544 on: May 15, 2016, 07:54:07 PM »
TOT building where immigration used to be, i remember it well B/F and before that assumption opp. big c. around 2007 the same time as this clip. Wonder if there is a link between the two.

Military-car Cemetery
THAILAND : Military-car Cementary 2007
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Online KiwiCanadian

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Re: Re: luncheon vouchers - all our yesterdays
« Reply #545 on: May 15, 2016, 10:03:56 PM »
Not quite sure what these are but I shot this photo in a field next to Wat Mai Ban Don, which is right across the street from the ToT building where immigration used to be.  B/W and color version.  The resizing for the forum really degrades the picture.

Shot with a Nikon D810, Nikon 14-24 Lense @ 14mm, 80 ISO, F/10, 1/160 Shutter speed.

BF those are Dodge 3/4 ton weapons carriers, the Jeep was rated as a 1/4 ton vehicle. At the time of development of the Jeep there was rivalry between Dodge & Bantam about the name, I believe the Jeep name only came after the war when all the GI's returned home and wanted their Meep or some called it a Jeep.

Check out the war history pages you will find lots of info there.

The Dodge 3/4 ton's were also widely used during the Vietnam war so that's why there are a lot in Thailand.

And yes I do own a 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel here in Canada.

Offline thaiga

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Re: Re: luncheon vouchers - all our yesterdays
« Reply #546 on: August 05, 2016, 11:25:53 PM »

Dunkirk 2017

THE Dark Knight Rises director Christoper Nolan has revealed the first footage of his long-awaited World War II epic Dunkirk.
The ‘announcement trailer’ is brief but loaded with atmosphere, showing bodies on a beach and then terrified Allied forces ducking as an enemy aircraft swoops over them.

The movie tells the story of Operation Dynamo, the attempted rescue of thousands of Allied forces who were cut off and surrounded by German troops in 1940.

The mission is one of the most incredible stories of World War II, which Winston Churchill described as turning a "colossal military disaster" into "a miracle of deliverance."

Dunkirk's big name cast includes Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance, Kenneth Branagh and Cillian Murphy.

It also marks the acting debut of One Direction's Harry Styles, although it's not known how significant his part will be.
Mark Rylance has been full of praise for Nolan's work on the movie, telling Empire, "Every great filmmaker at some moment makes a war film." "But Chris' script-writing is so brilliant that I think he has the potential to make a very, very powerful and simple, pure war film about a miraculous loss."

"I think it has the potential to be just a marvellous film."
Mark Rylance has won an Oscar and is currently the BFG - so who are we to argue?
Dunkirk is still in production but is expected to be with us on July 21, 2017. Thanks to

Dunkirk 2017 Official Trailer | Christopher Nolan | Harry Styles, Tom Hardy | FAN MADE


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Offline thaiga

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Re: Re: luncheon vouchers - all our yesterdays
« Reply #547 on: August 08, 2016, 03:54:02 PM »

MASSAGE THEN A MASSACRE Diary reveals Hitler’s henchman Heinrich Himmler enjoyed a back rub before killings… and nearly fainted when victim’s brain spattered on his clothes

Sheer banality of entries provides chilling insight into life of SS chief who had a back rub before organising mass murder

IT could be any businessman’s desk diary, with its neatly typed lists of mundane appointments, travel arrangements and lunch meetings.

But Heinrich Himmler’s business was genocide.

The former chicken farmer was the head of the SS, put in charge of the Holocaust by Adolf Hitler and the creator of the system of extermination camps where millions of people were murdered.

His office diaries, lost for 71 years, have now been discovered lying in a Russian military archive.

And the sheer banality of the entries provides a chilling insight into the life of a doting father who started each day with a massage before heading off to organise the nitty-gritty of mass murder.

Overseeing Nazi death camps was just something to be fitted in between curling matches, sauna sessions, phone calls to his family and the occasional “transit” day — believed to be a code he used for seeing his mistress, Bunny.

The entry for February 12, 1943, for example, when he flew from his SS field headquarters to Lublin, in occupied Poland, could hardly be more matter-of-fact:

12.00: Landing Lublin; Pick-up by SS Obergruppenfuhrer Kruger and SS Gruppenfuhrer Globocnik; Food in airport hotel.

12.30: Go in cars to Chelm.

14.00: Go from Chelm by special train to SS Sonderkommando.

15.00 — 16.00: Tour of SS Sonderkommando.

What the entry does not explain is that the Sonderkommando was the name given to prisoners ordered to dispose of gassed bodies at their extermination camp before they too were killed.

It also fails to mention that the purpose of the tour was for Himmler to see for himself the efficiency of the camp’s diesel engine-driven gassing process where 250,000 were murdered.

And it does not tell the casual reader that no transport of Jews was scheduled for that day, so a special arrangement was made.

Four hundred young Jewish women and girls were brought in from the ghetto at Lublin to be put to death in the gas chambers in the demonstration for Himmler. Then he went off to have a slap-up dinner.

Ada Lichtman, a rare survivor of that camp, remembered 42-year-old Himmler being driven away after the slaughter.

She recalled: “There was a huge banquet given in his honour. I had to decorate the tables.

“Himmler was so enthusiastic about this visit.”

Himmler had been the one responsible for the introduction of gas chambers, after ordering that more “efficient” ways be found to complete his assigned task of killing Europe’s 11million Jews.

The scale and horror of the task, however, did not daunt the monster in the round spectacles.

Himmler, like Hitler, liked to rise late and work well into the evening or the early hours.

A typical day, according to his diaries, began with a two-hour massage from Dr Felix Kersten to prepare for his day.

Another daily feature, dutifully recorded in his diary, were his phone calls home to “Mammi and Puppi” — his pet names for wife Margarete and daughter Gudrun.

They were living in Gmund in Germany’s southwest, while Himmler was based in his “Black Lair” HQ far away in the east in what is now Poland.

Himmler was particularly devoted to his “puppi” Gudrun and often flew his young daughter out to visit him at work and to show her around his death camps.

There's lots more on this story here

Hitler henchman Himmler's diary extracts found

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Offline thaiga

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Re: Re: luncheon vouchers - all our yesterdays
« Reply #548 on: August 22, 2016, 04:36:04 PM »

Imagine a country where doors are left unlocked, children play in the street and people really do look out for each other. Fantasy? No, Britain just 50 years ago

To many people who grew up in the Britain of half a century ago, the Fifties are a clearly and dearly remembered age.

'We walked to school, had open fires and no central heating,' recalled a woman of that generation.

'We played in the street with our friends and were safe; we climbed trees, skinned our knees and ripped our clothes, got into fights and nobody sued anybody. Sweets were a treat, not part of lunch.

'We got a clip round the ear when we had been naughty, and Mum gave us a teaspoon of malt and cod liver oil before school.

'We played cards and board games and talked to each other. We were allowed to answer the phone on our birthdays as a special treat. It was an innocent time, gone for ever.'

Aldershot housewife Jill Morgan spoke for the majority of contributors to a BBC history website in 2007 when she pleaded: 'Bring back the values of the Fifties!!!'

But the playwright David Hare, a man of the same vintage, could think of nothing worse.

'Society then was so oppressive and so false, particularly sexually. Neighbours had this prurience and primness and this awful kind of policing of each other's lives. Nobody these days could imagine how dull things were and how respectful people were and how dead they were from the neck up.'

A reprise of the Fifties, he maintained, 'would represent a return only to repression, to hypocrisy and to a kind of willed, pervasive dullness which is the negation of life'.

As we'll see in this series, which continues in next week's Mail, the debate goes on.

 The Fifties were 'the best of times' according to writer Ian Jack as he recalled full employment, steady material progress and a widely shared sense of certainty about life. But they were 'the worst of times' to journalist Lynn Barber, when 'the most exciting event was the advent of the Birds Eye Roast Beef Frozen Dinner For One'.

Over the entire era still hung the spectre of World War II, which had been over for a decade  - although a lot of people, looking around them at the state of the country 'were buggered if they knew who had won it'.

Meat, butter, cheese, sugar and sweets were still rationed in 1953, and blitzed inner cities remained, even if many of their inhabitants had been shipped out to suburbs and new towns. War films were the staple diet of the cinema -The Dam Busters, The Cruel Sea, Reach For The Sky.

War was central in children's lives and imaginations. Theatre director Richard Eyre recalled that all the games he played were war games. 'I fired sticks and mimicked the high stutter of machine guns in the woods, and dive-bombed my friends with ear-damaging howls and flung my body into the arc of heroic death.'

It was the same on the streets of actor Ricky Tomlinson's working-class neighbourhood in Liverpool. Most of the boys on his street had wooden Tommy guns or sometimes the real thing  -  a relic from the war with the firing pin removed.

Airfix Spitfires, sold by Woolworths for 2s, proved to be the toy firm's most popular model, while boys' comics were full of stories of 'Braddock, Ace Pilot', 'Sergeant Allen of the Fighting 15th' and 'The Eyes that Never Closed' (about hunting German U-boats).

Wartime values were still very strong. Respectability, conformity, restraint and trust were what underpinned the Fifties.

There had been a degree of democratisation in the war as soldiers and civilians of all classes shared its dangers and privations.

But, in the aftermath, deference still ran deep in British society - whether towards traditional institutions, senior people in hierarchical organisations, prominent local figures (the teacher, the bank manager, the GP), older people generally or the better educated.

In the ultra-hierarchical City of London, it was still 'Mr this' and 'Mr that' in most offices. 'You may call me Ernest,' a merchant banker at Warburgs announced to a recent recruit, and the proverbial pin was heard to drop when the young man dared to do so.

Growing up in Bristol, Derek Robinson recalled a 'uniform' of either sports jacket and flannels or singlebreasted suit. Being measured for a first suit at Burtons remained a classic male rite of passage for the 'trainee adults' that British youth generally was in those days.

Mary Quant, just out of art college in the mid-Fifties, looked with dismay at what most women wore  - 'The un-sexiness, the lack of gaiety, the formal stuffiness. I wanted clothes that were much more for being young and alive in.'

But restraint and uniformity were the order of the day, as the Indian writer Nirad Chaudhuri noted during a 1955 visit to England.

'I heard no sound,' he said as he watched crowds streaming quietly and in an orderly fashion along Oxford Street. He met 'the same silence' in pubs, restaurants and buses  -  a silence, a 'dreariness of public behaviour', utterly different from what he was used to in India. And when the English did speak, they were no less reserved, he found, with 'their habit of tacitness, which they call understatement'.

Yet it would be wrong to assume that Britain in the Fifties was invariably a land of carefully calibrated politeness. There were pointers to a more casual and selfish future in the emotive issue of bus queues.

A newspaper correspondent recalled 'their neat and orderly double-file formation during the war'. But not any more. 'Today they straggle and lack not only their former parade-ground precision, but also bonhomie.' A clergyman complained of queuejumpers sidling on board 'with great skill and an appearance of disinterestedness'.

Yet, helped by informally policed public spaces - by bus conductors, by park-keepers, by lavatory attendants - and by a police force that was largely admired, this was for the most part an era of trust.

'I liked my half-hour's walk through the quiet suburban streets,' children's author Jacqueline Wilson recalls about being a six-year-old in Kingston-upon-Thames, adding that it wasn't unusual for children of her age to walk to school by themselves.

Ken Blackmore, who grew up in a Cheshire village, remembers not only the front door of his home being left unlocked, but bikes generally being left untouched or unchained at the bus stop or the railway station.

It was not until about 1957 that British motorcycles were even fitted with locks or keys. John Humbach parked his 500cc Triumph outside his London house. 'I never had a chain and padlock and never knew anyone who had. The bike was never stolen and I was never worried it might be.'

There's a lot more on this article from the DM. can be found here

Britain in The 50s

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Offline thaiga

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Re: Re: luncheon vouchers - all our yesterdays
« Reply #549 on: November 26, 2016, 03:50:21 PM »

Fidel Castro dies at age 90

Fidel Castro, the fiery apostle of revolution who brought the Cold War to the Western Hemisphere in 1959 and then defied the United States for nearly half a century as Cuba’s maximum leader, briefly pushing the world to the brink of nuclear war, has died at the age of 90.

One of the world's longest-serving rulers and modern history's most singular characters, he defied successive US administrations and assassination attempts. He crushed opposition at home to lead the communist Caribbean island through the Cold War before stepping aside in 2006.

He eventually lived to see the historic restoration of diplomatic ties with Washington last year.

"The commander-in-chief of the Cuban revolution died at 22:29 hours this evening," President Raul Castro announced on national television just after midnight Friday local time (noon Saturday, Thailand time).

Raul Castro, who took power after Fidel was admitted to hospital in 2006, said the revolutionary leader's remains would be cremated early on Saturday, "in compliance with his expressed will".

In declining health for several years, Castro had orchestrated what he hoped would be the continuation of his Communist revolution, stepping aside in 2006 and ceding much of his power to his younger brother, now 85, and two years later formally resigned as president.

Raul Castro, who had fought alongside Fidel from the earliest days of the insurrection and remained minister of defence and his brother’s closest confidant, has ruled Cuba since then, although he has told the Cuban people he intends to resign in 2018.

Fidel Castro had held onto power longer than any other living national leader except Queen Elizabeth II of England. He became a towering international figure whose importance in the 20th century far exceeded what might have been expected from the head of state of a Caribbean island nation of 11 million people.

He dominated his country with strength and symbolism from the day he triumphantly entered Havana on Jan 8, 1959, and completed his overthrow of Fulgencio Batista by delivering his first major speech in the capital before tens of thousands of admirers at the vanquished dictator’s military headquarters.

Castro wielded power like a tyrant, controlling every aspect of the island’s existence. From atop a Cuban army tank, he directed his country’s defence at the Bay of Pigs. Countless details fell to him, from selecting the colour of uniforms that Cuban soldiers wore in Angola to overseeing a programme to produce a "superbreed" of milk cows. He personally set the goals for sugar harvests. He personally sent countless men to prison.

But it was more than repression and fear that kept him and his totalitarian government in power for so long. He had both admirers and detractors in Cuba and around the world. Some saw him as a ruthless despot who trampled rights and freedoms; many others hailed him as the crowds did that first night, as a revolutionary hero for the ages.

Even when he fell ill and was admitted to hospital with diverticulitis in the summer of 2006, Castro tried to dictate the details of his own medical care and orchestrate the continuation of his revolution, engaging a plan as old as the revolution itself.

By handing power to his brother, Castro once more raised the ire of his enemies in Washington. US officials condemned the transition, saying it prolonged a dictatorship and again denied the long-suffering Cuban people a chance to control their own lives.

But in December 2014, President Barack Obama used his executive powers to dial down the decades of antagonism between Washington and Havana by moving to exchange prisoners and normalisze diplomatic relations between the two countries, a deal worked out with the help of Pope Francis and after 18 months of secret talks between representatives of both governments.

Although increasingly frail and rarely seen in public, Castro even then made clear his enduring mistrust of the United States. A few days after Obama’s highly publicised visit to Cuba in 2016 — the first by a sitting US president in 88 years — Castro penned a cranky response denigrating Obama’s overtures of peace and insisting that Cuba did not need anything the United States was offering.

Castro’s legacy in Cuba and elsewhere has been a mixed record of social progress and abject poverty, of racial equality and political persecution, of impressive medical advances alongside a degree of misery comparable to the conditions that existed in Cuba when he entered Havana as a victorious guerrilla commander in 1959.

That image made him a symbol of revolution throughout the world and an inspiration to many imitators. Hugo Chavez of Venezuela considered Castro his ideological godfather. Even Castro’s spotty performance as an ageing autocrat in charge of a foundering economy could not undermine his established image.

But beyond anything else, it was Castro’s obsession with the United States, and America’s obsession with him, that shaped his rule. After he embraced Communism, Washington portrayed him as a devil and a tyrant and repeatedly tried to remove him from power through an ill-fated invasion at the Bay of Pigs in 1961, an economic embargo that has lasted decades, assassination plots and even bizarre plans to undercut his prestige by making his beard fall out.

Castro’s defiance of US power made him a beacon of resistance in Latin America and elsewhere, and his bushy beard, long Cuban cigar and green fatigues became universal symbols of rebellion.

Castro’s understanding of the power of images, especially on television, helped him retain the loyalty of many Cubans even during the harshest periods of deprivation and isolation when he routinely blamed many of Cuba’s ills on America and its embargo.

And his mastery of words in thousands of speeches, often lasting hours, imbued many Cubans with his own hatred of the United States by keeping them on constant watch for an invasion — military, economic or ideological — from the north.

Over many years Castro gave hundreds of interviews and retained the ability to twist the most compromising question to his favour. In a 1985 interview in Playboy magazine, he was asked how he would respond to President Ronald Reagan’s description of him as a ruthless military dictator.

"Let’s think about your question,” Castro said, toying with his interviewer. “If being a dictator means governing by decree, then you might use that argument to accuse the Pope of being a dictator.”

He turned the question back on Reagan: “If his power includes something as monstrously undemocratic as the ability to order a thermonuclear war, I ask you, who then is more of a dictator, the president of the United States or I?”

After leading his guerrillas against a repressive Cuban dictator, Castro, in his early 30s, aligned Cuba with the Soviet Union and used Cuban troops to support revolution in Africa and throughout Latin America.

His willingness to allow the Soviets to build missile-launching sites in Cuba led to a harrowing diplomatic standoff between the United States and the Soviet Union in the fall of 1962, one that could have escalated into a nuclear exchange. The world remained tense until the confrontation was defused 13 days after it began, and the launching pads were dismantled.

With the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Castro faced one of his biggest challenges: surviving without huge Communist subsidies. He defied predictions of his political demise. When threatened, he fanned antagonism toward the United States. And when the Cuban economy neared collapse, he legalized the United States dollar, which he had railed against since the 1950s, only to ban dollars again a few years later when the economy stabilised.

Castro continued to taunt US presidents for a half-century, frustrating all of Washington’s attempts to contain him. After nearly five decades as a pariah of the West, even when his once booming voice had withered to an old man’s whisper and his beard had turned grey, he remained defiant.

He often told interviewers that he identified with Don Quixote, and like Quixote he struggled against threats both real and imagined, preparing for decades, for example, for another invasion that never came. As the leaders of every other nation of the hemisphere gathered in Quebec City in April 2001 for the third Summit of the Americas, an uninvited Castro, then 74, fumed in Havana, presiding over ceremonies commemorating the embarrassing defeat of CIA-backed exiles at the Bay of Pigs in 1961.

True to character, he portrayed his exclusion as a sign of strength, declaring that Cuba “is the only country in the world that does not need to trade with the United States" Thanks to

BREAKING: Fidel Castro Dies, Cuba Fidel Castro is Dead at age 90

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